My work is primarily conceptual. I make objects that represent my thoughts and findings in life. I enjoy dark humour and am particularly interested in the audience’s reaction to the unusual and absurd. This work is a continuation of the theme of my MA dissertation ‘Confronting the Abject’, exploring human reaction to the abject physical form. Man has always been fascinated by people and animals with physical peculiarities. Although visually we are drawn to the unusual and unknown, we are most comfortable when we view them from a ‘safe’ distance. “The suggestion of contact and contamination, the exposure of the visceral and the fear of the unknown and the uncontrollable, all contribute to the fascination of the grotesque”.
This series of work breaks down the barriers between the viewer and the viewed. The work references dolls. Dolls usually represent absolute normality. Everything symmetrical, nothing out of place, an inanimate, perfect form to be loved, hugged and nurtured. The eyes of the pieces are all important; another connection between the onlooker and the subject, the glass eyes of the dolls stare back at the viewer, the mirrored eyes ensure the viewer is confronted with their own reflection.
Some of the forms were originally hand modelled in wax. Wax has a vast history in anatomical sculpture. In the 19th century wax was used to represent the human form for medical education. Eventually these wax works, many representing disease and deformity, became major attractions for the paying public in travelling shows. It was a way of viewing physical abnormalities without fear of contamination. Some dolls are cast in porcelain, making them ambiguous and precious. I believe there is beauty in abnormality and that obscurities enrich my life.
My collection of dolls is ever increasing. I am also using found objects and old dolls that I distort, adapt and change.